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Top 20 Gender-Neutral Names of 2012

Top 20 Gender-Neutral Names of 2012

Names, names, names. It seems that’s all we’re talking about lately. But, really, does the topic ever get old? Not for me, it doesn’t!

Okay, so here’s my two cents about gender-neutral names: While many of them are lovely enough names, aren’t there just such strong and good and right gender-specific names to use?

Many people think it’s bizarre that I don’t care for gender-neutral names, considering that I adore gender-neutral baby clothing and design. Perhaps part of me steers clear of them because our children are already going to have two moms; how much more different do we need to be? And as a lesbian mother, I cringe at the thought of anyone assuming I tried to make some political/social statement by using a unisex name. “Oh, those lesbians gave their boy a girl’s name. Couldn’t they have just used a regular name?” It’s not so much that I care what others think, or that I wouldn’t use an obviously political name if I loved it enough. It’s just that, in this case, I agree with these potential wonderers on one point: There are so many fabulous non-unisex names to choose from!

The following list of gender-neutral names actually blows my mind a bit. Elliot and Sawyer are so obviously boy names to me, just as Quinn is so very much a girl’s name to me (and yes, I know its roots stem back to a man’s name).

What do you think of this list? And of gender-neutral names in general? Take a look, after the jump!

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  • Harper 1 of 20
    Harper
    This name was on a non-paper list of mine about seven years ago. For a girl. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, and I've admired its author, Harper Lee, since I first read the book in junior high school. But apparently, I'm not the only one who likes this name. It became too popular for me a few years back, and now that boys can have this name, I'm sure it's only going to continue climbing the charts.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Quinn 2 of 20
    Quinn
    This is traditionally a boy's name, but I see it as wholly feminine now.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Rowan 3 of 20
    Rowan
    I think this is a great name for a boy, and while I like the nickname Ro for a girl, I'd prefer it come from a clearly feminine name, like Rose.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Kai 4 of 20
    Kai
    I've known three males with the name Kai over the years, but I can actually sort of see how this could be used for a girl.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Avery 5 of 20
    Avery
    My mother suggested we use this name for one of the twins, and I said it aloud a few times before I decided against it. I like the name, but something keeps me from loving it.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Sawyer 6 of 20
    Sawyer
    I don't see how this could be used for a girl. At all. To me, this is a full-on boy's name.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Emerson 7 of 20
    Emerson
    We liked this one a lot for about two days until I found out that it was becoming a popularly used girl's name. This is another one that I think is all boy.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Elliot 8 of 20
    Elliot
    I think we can blame the lovely Em-sound and El-sound of popular names like Emily and Ella for the strange reach into the masculine world searching for anything that can give us that same sound. But come on, people, Elliot for a girl?
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Rory 9 of 20
    Rory
    While it's not a name I care for for either sex this one actually makes sense to me as a gender-neutral name. I think it could easily work for both.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • August 10 of 20
    August
    Isn't this just a lovely name? I wouldn't use it myself, but I like this name a lot, for either a boy or a girl, with its cute and fun nickname possibilities.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Emery 11 of 20
    Emery
    All I think of is a nail file. It's a pleasant enough word, with a nice enough sound, but it just doesn't do it for me.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Riley 12 of 20
    Riley
    Really, what's not to like about this name? And I think it's a perfect unisex moniker.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Dylan 13 of 20
    Dylan
    Totally, absolutely, 100% boy. Yet, somehow, for some reason, I like it for a girl.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Finley 14 of 20
    Finley
    This is a nice variation of Finn/Fynn, but if you're thinking about using it for a boy, why not just stick with Finn? And since the girls have taken over Quinn, I guess the hijacking of this name too makes sense.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Logan 15 of 20
    Logan
    I happen to really like the name Logan. And I think it works well for either gender, though I tend to place it ever so slightly more toward the boy side.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Ryan 16 of 20
    Ryan
    This is another name that I think works for both sexes, though I really love it for a girl.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Tristan 17 of 20
    Tristan
    To me, this is a no-brainer boy's name. But more and more girls are stealing it.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Gray 18 of 20
    Gray
    Just, why? I get the color trend, Blue Ivy, Violet, Ruby (I even have a cousin who named her daughter Navy). And I very much like Grayson, Gracie, and Grace. But Gray? It's not even a happy color.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Blake 19 of 20
    Blake
    We can thank Blake Lively for this. I love this name. For a boy.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto
  • Peyton 20 of 20
    Peyton
    I'm told this is an homage to some athlete (forgive my athletic dimness). But I don't see how this name could be given to a girl or why, for that matter.
    Source: Nameberry
    Photo: iStockphoto

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